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No.44(2011/2/9)
The Economic and Labour Situation in Japan

Japan's Economic Growth Rate Forecast to Drop to 1.5% in FY 2011

The government's forecast for economic growth predicts a drop from 3.1% in the current fiscal year to 1.5% in real terms in fiscal 2011. The decline is due mainly to weak private consumption amid the diminishing effects of fiscal stimulus steps.

Industrial Production

Industrial production in December 2010 increased 3.1% over the previous month, showing an increase for the second consecutive month; it was up 4.6% year on year. The index for December was 94.6 (seasonally adjusted). Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) transport equipment, (2) electronic parts and devices, and (3) iron and steel, in that order. Commodities that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) large passenger cars, (2) fixed capacitors, and (3) drive transmission and control parts. According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase 5.7% in January and 1.3% in February.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey

(1) Expenditure for two-or-more-person households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in December was 327,006 yen, down 3.2% in nominal terms and down 3.3% in real terms from the same month in the previous year.

(2) Income and expenditures for workers' households in December
The average monthly income per household stood at 895,511 yen (including company bonuses paid in that month), down 1.3% in nominal terms and down 2.8% in real terms from the previous year.
The average monthly consumption expenditure per household was 349,495 yen, down 2.7% in nominal terms and down 2.8% in real terms from the previous year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results

(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in December 2010 was 62.28 million, a decrease of 50,000, or 0.1%, from the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in December 2010 was 2.98 million, a decrease of 190,000, or 6.0%, from the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9%.

(10,000 persons)
  Actual figures Change from previous year
      (%)
Population aged 15 years and over 11,050 (0) 0.0
Labour force 6,526 (-13) -0.2
Employed persons 6,228 (5) 0.1
Employees 5,468 (+13) 0.2
Unemployed persons 298 (-19) -6.0
Not in labour force 4,519 (+13) 0.3
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.1 (-0.1)  
Employment rate (%) 56.4 (0.1)  
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 4.6 (-0.2)  
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 4.9 (-02)  

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability did not improve in December, with the ratio of job offers to job seekers standing at 0.57, the same as in the previous month. This figure means that 57 jobs were available for every 100 job seekers.

Consumer Prices

The consumer price index for Japan in December 2010 was 99.6 (2005=100), down 0.3 points from the previous month and the same level as in the previous year.
The general index of consumer prices for Japan in 2010 was 99.6 (2005=100), down 0.7 points from the previous year. The recent year-on-year falls in the consumer price index suggest chronic deflation.

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